Christopher Spalding and Kelly Bartlett

Pros bring ballroom, Latin dance moves to MU

"Dance is the hardest profession in the world."  – "Hard work" lyrics from the musical Fame


Professional instructors and competitive dancers Christopher Spalding, Kelly Bartlett, Tony Didier and Danel Nickels-Didier from the Dance Tonight studio in Fort Wayne will perform at Manchester University’s North Manchester campus on March 10.

The performance will take place at 3:30 p.m. in Cordier Auditorium This event is free and open to the public.

After performing show dances in styles such as the waltz, foxtrot, tango, rumba, cha cha, bolero and swing, the dancers will talk about the historical development of each style, as well as its cultural and social significance.

James Brumbaugh-Smith, associate professor of mathematics and advisor of the MU’s Ballroom and Latin Dance Club, hopes students learn more about the art of dance. The performers, he says, will demonstrate “how various forms of ballroom dance both reflect and impact the cultures from which they arise.”

Brumbaugh-Smith and his wife, Amy, take group classes and private dance lessons. “Dancing can be used to convey beauty and portray a story, not just provide recreation and entertainment,” Brumbaugh-Smith said.

Co-owners Chris Spalding and Kelly Bartlett opened Dance Tonight Fort Wayne in June 2013.  They actively compete on the national and world circuit.  They hold three North American titles and have performed for audiences around the world.

Didier is partnered with his wife, 1998 Manchester graduate Danel Nickels-Didier.  They compete in Professional American Rhythm where they are Midwest Regional Rising Star, Open Professional and Showdance finalists. Together they teach the ballroom dance physical education class at MU's North Manchester campus. 

The March 10 performance is sponsored by MU’s Ballroom and Latin Dance Club.

Prepared with assistance by Heather M. Elson, MU media relations assistant.

February 27, 2015

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